Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit... - Suzuki GSX-R Motorcycle Forums Gixxer.com
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post #1 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

So we hear this phrase all the time, used mostly when people want to buy their first bike, and don't want to listen to advice given by more experienced riders, which is to start small, like on the Yamaha R3 or Kawasaki Ninja 300.

They will say, "Oh, I will be ok on a 600/750/1000/Busa because I will just respect the throttle, and that the bike is only as fast as your right hand makes it.

Bullshit.

The biggest determining factor in getting a first bike is what will happen when you fuck up, which you will. Making a mistake on a bike you should not be on will result in very bad things happening to you and the bike and possibly people around you.

Let me give you some examples.

1. I was riding back in 2005, and was leading a group ride. A new rider joined us, and said he would stay at the back, keep it slow, and respect the bike. He was on a brand new Kawasaki ZX-10R. He did what he said, stayed slow, and thought he was respecting the bike. However, he hit a pothole. The bump from the pothole caused the rider to grab a handful of throttle, which made the rear tire spin up. He didn't know what to do, and closed the throttle. Doing so proceeded to highside him into a tree. Had he been on a smaller-cc/less powerful bike, the rear tire wouldn't have spun. Had he been more experienced, he would have known not to close the throttle, and just ride it out. So he wound up in the hospital, with a destroyed bike.

2. Was riding with a new rider, attempting to help him learn the ropes a bit. He was on a K6 750 at the time. We were riding down a rural street, doing about 35mph. He thought he was in thrid, when he was actually in second. He grabbed a downshift, and instead of hitting second, he drops into first and the bike lofts the wheel. He panics, keeps the throttle open, and loops a wheelie. All he was wearing was a tank top and jeans. He didn't have collision insurance either. As the bike loops over, and lands on top of him, it hits the pavement and cracks the stator cover, spilling hot oil on him. So he is now covered in hot oil, sliding down the pavement, with a bike on top of him. I have never heard a grown man scream and cry like I did that day, especially when they took the wire brush to his road rash at the hospital. Bike was destroyed.

Those are just two examples. There are plenty more, I just don't feel like typing them. Maybe others will chime in.

I just hope that this whole "respect the bike" bullshit goes away. You can't respect a bike enough not to make mistakes on it. That goes for anyone, whether it is me, Marc Marquez, or a new rider. We all make mistakes. It is the bike we are on and our relative experience levels that determine what those mistakes do to us.

Start small. Take the MSF courses. Take track schools once you have the basics of riding down.

Hope this helps.


Used to race, used to be fast, won a few championships.

"Anyone who believes that slow and steady wins the race has never been in a race" - Me

Rest in peace Dad... I love you, and I miss you. 05.18.43 - 10.11.10

Last edited by Anthony D; 01-04-2016 at 10:38 PM.
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post #2 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 09:05 PM
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Re: Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

Amen. Respect isn't a substitute for skill. Respect gives a false sense of safety. I'm tired of it too and hope all new riders take this advice.
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post #3 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 09:15 PM
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Re: Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

I agree interesting stories
But wtf was that guy doing riding with no gear
Squid training. Myself I will never take a rider out with out the gear..
It's not supposed to be a donor cycle ride
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post #4 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 10:11 PM
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Re: Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

Maaaaaan....you don't have to be a rookie on a big bike to fuck up. Even us vets make mistakes (just look at a GP race ) but your experience level can go a long way in minimizing the consequences.

My incident a month ago was more of a tip over than an actual crash but it was still a fuck up on my part. I mainly made the thread below to target the vets but I realize now that it can benefit the newjacks as well.

You newer guys reading or lurking and reading need to understand that there is a huge ladder that needs to be climbed in this sport and it simply takes time. Starting off small will make you soooo much better in the long run on your bike. Many of us here, including myself, have actually downsized in the past to get better and are a zillion times faster better riders because of it. Not to mention, the racing trophies are always nice to look at.

Nothing wrong with starting small. You'd be surprised at how much you could learn on an old Z50.

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post #5 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 11:09 PM
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Re: Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

why did you ever let someone to "learn the ropes" while they were wearing a tank top? couldn't you tell that dude to gear up?
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post #6 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 03:49 AM
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Re: Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

Eh...
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post #7 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 04:57 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

Quote:
Originally Posted by fastboatster View Post
why did you ever let someone to "learn the ropes" while they were wearing a tank top? couldn't you tell that dude to gear up?
I did... He didn't listen.
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post #8 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 05:09 AM
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Re: Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

Great stickie Ant ... This subject gets covered what feels like every fucking day , and it's the same old story ... Someone that thinks their the exception.

Riding is inherently dangerous , whether you're a 'green horn' or a seasoned rider ... Why make it worse by stacking the odd's against yourself ???!!!

This info is not guesswork , this is from experience ... Those that have been there and done that , all you have to do is take it all in and not take it personally.
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post #9 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 05:48 AM
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Re: Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

While I don't have any horror stories about people starting out on big bikes and failing spectacularly, I have a newfound appreciation about what it is to start out on a big bike. I had an accident in the summer, as a result of which (along with insurance complications) I was unable to ride my 750 for more than 3 months. During that time I was very lucky to be able to ride a friend's F650GS, a 50BHP single cylinder, on/off and all-around tourer. As you can imagine, after 3 months of that I couldn't wait to get on my 750 again.

I was shocked when I did. For once I was convinced there was no possible way I could ever fit on that thing. I knew I did before of course, but it really felt awkward, not just in terms of comfort, but general ergonomics and control. And then there was the motor. After 3 months on the GS, where I was spending most of the time either at zero or full throttle, at least on streets, where you can do more than, say, 50 mph, I felt like the 750 was intent on killing me. I could hear the engine breathe in and feel the bike wanting to lurch forward, at each twitch of the throttle and was constantly conscious of having to be very careful with my throttle control.

All this really took the fun out of riding and made it an intimidating experience, to the point, that I would rather be on the GS again. I was also convinced, against all reason, that it would take time to get the hang of the 750 again and not time I was particularly looking forward to. This all ended in a couple of days, of course, after which the K4 feels pretty comfy and even roomy again and my brain recalibrated to its throttle response. Had I just started out, it would take a couple of years, if it happened at all.

It's interesting to add that I had a similar experience a couple of year back when my CBR400RR was in the shop for a couple of months after a lowside. I was riding around on the same GS during that time and when I got back on the 400, I remember again feeling a bit cramped, but apart from that the experience wasn't too unpleasant. In fact I remember being thrilled to be on a sportsbike again.

The point I guess, is that, even if someone is convinced that it's "safe" to start out on a big bike, it's still a fact that it won't be fun, it will impair skill imporvement and likely limit attainable skill and lead to bad habits, due to constant intimidation. So one should at least be aware he/she is putting style, look or the racer feel above actual riding and the pleasure that goes with it, risking their lives and those of others in the process (and quire a bit more than is necessary too).
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post #10 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 07:10 AM
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Re: Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

Too many incidents in the past to type here,but I will share one which Anthony will remember very clearly. First time,unexperienced rider on a new GSXR 600 who was scared of his bike and babied the throttle around town cause his friends told him it was ok to learn to ride on a supersport.

So 10 years ago a large group of us (8-10) from the forum would meet at Bear Mountain NY(google it) 2-3 Sundays a month and head North to ride the mountains. I've been riding the same roads for 30yrs so Im very familiar with them. The core group consisted of highly experienced riders mostly on literbikes.

Occasionally we would get people who havent ridden with us before join for the day. The majority of the group was from NYC and Long Island. As you know,riding in the twisties is much different then riding around in a busy city.

So a new forum member who had just bought a GSXR 600 saw our thread in the ride club forum and asked if he could join us,after asking a few questions about his riding experience we reluctantly agreed. Well,turns out he was full of shit when he said he's been riding for awhile.

We all met up at 6am and after giving out some rules for the group to follow,I led the ride up North. We got to a tricky road which had some nasty sections which were very bumpy as well as some decreasing radius off camber turns. On the way up the mountain we had light traffic and the few cars we got stick behind would pull to the shoulder and let us by. Except one minivan that was going 30mph in a 45mph zone for quite awhile.

Aggravated with the minivan,I decided to pull over at a scenic lookout halfway up so we could have a quick break and chat a bit before continuing further. Suddenly,a frantic man in a car pulls up besides us no more then 30 seconds after we stop yelling that someone on a yellow bike had a bad crash a few miles back and needed help ASAP.

After a quick head count to see if it was someone in our group we realized it was Eli the new guy on the 600. We rode down the mountain and sure enough there was Eli laying on the side of the road,semi-unconscious&slowly writhing around in pain with several cars stopped to offer assistance. There was no cell phone service in the area so a family who had stopped to ask me if we needed anything offered to continue on up the mountain and call 911 as soon as there was service available. Shit was unraveling real quick..

I took a quick survey of the scene,and with 911/help already being addressed I looked over at Eli and saw that Anthony as well as a few others were keeping an eye on him and making sure he didnt remove his helmet and stayed laying down.

So,I saw a few things while looking around. The crash occurred on one of the nasty decreasing radius left hand corners. First thing I noticed was a very long skid mark from Eli's bike which started at the entry to the corner,and went straight through the bend and ended at the guardrail where his bike layed destroyed. I looked at Eli's rear tire and noticed the center was worn flat,and the sides looked brand new. He also had Armor All on his sidewalls.

Within 15minutes the Police and ambulance where there and EMT's were doing their thing. The officer had asked if any of us knew him and if we knew what happened. He asked if we were speeding. I said no,we were behind a minivan who was doing the speed limit 30mph,if that. A car that had stopped to help was behind Eli also confirmed that he was not speeding.

At the hospital we asked Eli what happened and he said that he had just gotten the bike,never rode before and has never been out of NYC so he wasnt used to taking corners. He said he panicked and loked up the front and rear brakes when he saw the left hand corner and then he didnt remember anything after that. Anthony and I were the only ones at the hospital with him and we both shook our heads like WTF.

Eli had completely shattered his left ankle,his bones were crushed. He had no insurance on the bike nor did he have health insurance so the hospital bandaged him up,gave him pain meds and sent him on his way. He said his buddies told him he'd be fine on a 600. He also said he didnt think the bike would lock up the brakes like that and said he thought the brakes were malfunctioning because they locked up. Anthony and I knew better but we kept quiet cause the last thing Eli needed at that point was us ragging on him. He wore sneakers,jeans and a leather jacket. No gloves so his hands were tore up. If he had proper boots on his ankle wouldnt have been shattered as bad as it was. Turns out he needed several micro-surgeries to repair his ankle and ended up losing his job cause he was laid up at home after surgeries.

So,as you can surmise from reading this,several things were done wrong,first and foremost was a brand new rider on a brand new GSXR600. That corner he crashed on was tricky,but not anything an new rider couldnt handle. He grabbed too much brake and crashed because he panicked& target fixated. Wearing minimum gear. No MSF course was taken. His buddies suggested a 600 supersport because he would get bored on a smaller,more suitable beginner bike.
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post #11 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 07:52 AM
Dont take ANY of my advice, EVER, when it comes to riding motorycles.
 
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Re: Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

If you buy a GSX R1000 you can use the 600/750/1000 switch to keep the power down the first week like a 600, then move up to 750, then after a few weeks when your pushing the 750cc power to the limits, switch it up full 1000cc power.

BTW, what's the best Icon vest to get to go over my tank top? You know, for safety in case a car hits me???
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post #12 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 10:55 AM
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Re: Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

You mean the bitch switch?
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post #13 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 11:15 AM
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Re: Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgixxer View Post
Too many incidents in the past to type here,but I will share one which Anthony will remember very clearly. First time,unexperienced rider on a new GSXR 600 who was scared of his bike and babied the throttle around town cause his friends told him it was ok to learn to ride on a supersport.

So 10 years ago a large group of us (8-10) from the forum would meet at Bear Mountain NY(google it) 2-3 Sundays a month and head North to ride the mountains. I've been riding the same roads for 30yrs so Im very familiar with them. The core group consisted of highly experienced riders mostly on literbikes.

Occasionally we would get people who havent ridden with us before join for the day. The majority of the group was from NYC and Long Island. As you know,riding in the twisties is much different then riding around in a busy city.

So a new forum member who had just bought a GSXR 600 saw our thread in the ride club forum and asked if he could join us,after asking a few questions about his riding experience we reluctantly agreed. Well,turns out he was full of shit when he said he's been riding for awhile.

We all met up at 6am and after giving out some rules for the group to follow,I led the ride up North. We got to a tricky road which had some nasty sections which were very bumpy as well as some decreasing radius off camber turns. On the way up the mountain we had light traffic and the few cars we got stick behind would pull to the shoulder and let us by. Except one minivan that was going 30mph in a 45mph zone for quite awhile.

Aggravated with the minivan,I decided to pull over at a scenic lookout halfway up so we could have a quick break and chat a bit before continuing further. Suddenly,a frantic man in a car pulls up besides us no more then 30 seconds after we stop yelling that someone on a yellow bike had a bad crash a few miles back and needed help ASAP.

After a quick head count to see if it was someone in our group we realized it was Eli the new guy on the 600. We rode down the mountain and sure enough there was Eli laying on the side of the road,semi-unconscious&slowly writhing around in pain with several cars stopped to offer assistance. There was no cell phone service in the area so a family who had stopped to ask me if we needed anything offered to continue on up the mountain and call 911 as soon as there was service available. Shit was unraveling real quick..

I took a quick survey of the scene,and with 911/help already being addressed I looked over at Eli and saw that Anthony as well as a few others were keeping an eye on him and making sure he didnt remove his helmet and stayed laying down.

So,I saw a few things while looking around. The crash occurred on one of the nasty decreasing radius left hand corners. First thing I noticed was a very long skid mark from Eli's bike which started at the entry to the corner,and went straight through the bend and ended at the guardrail where his bike layed destroyed. I looked at Eli's rear tire and noticed the center was worn flat,and the sides looked brand new. He also had Armor All on his sidewalls.

Within 15minutes the Police and ambulance where there and EMT's were doing their thing. The officer had asked if any of us knew him and if we knew what happened. He asked if we were speeding. I said no,we were behind a minivan who was doing the speed limit 30mph,if that. A car that had stopped to help was behind Eli also confirmed that he was not speeding.

At the hospital we asked Eli what happened and he said that he had just gotten the bike,never rode before and has never been out of NYC so he wasnt used to taking corners. He said he panicked and loked up the front and rear brakes when he saw the left hand corner and then he didnt remember anything after that. Anthony and I were the only ones at the hospital with him and we both shook our heads like WTF.

Eli had completely shattered his left ankle,his bones were crushed. He had no insurance on the bike nor did he have health insurance so the hospital bandaged him up,gave him pain meds and sent him on his way. He said his buddies told him he'd be fine on a 600. He also said he didnt think the bike would lock up the brakes like that and said he thought the brakes were malfunctioning because they locked up. Anthony and I knew better but we kept quiet cause the last thing Eli needed at that point was us ragging on him. He wore sneakers,jeans and a leather jacket. No gloves so his hands were tore up. If he had proper boots on his ankle wouldnt have been shattered as bad as it was. Turns out he needed several micro-surgeries to repair his ankle and ended up losing his job cause he was laid up at home after surgeries.

So,as you can surmise from reading this,several things were done wrong,first and foremost was a brand new rider on a brand new GSXR600. That corner he crashed on was tricky,but not anything an new rider couldnt handle. He grabbed too much brake and crashed because he panicked& target fixated. Wearing minimum gear. No MSF course was taken. His buddies suggested a 600 supersport because he would get bored on a smaller,more suitable beginner bike.
fucked up story but it sounds like he would've crashed on any bike since it was target fixation and fear that caused his crash.
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post #14 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 11:40 AM
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Re: Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

I learned on a 600, and if I could go back and do it again I'd have done a R3 or CBR300.

I might be one of the lucky ones but after 2 years, >5000 miles, and even a few track days I've managed to stay incident free.

#1 thing on the "to do list" for any new rider (after doing a MSF class) is taking a track class.

It will teach you soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much you will not learn otherwise.
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post #15 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 12:32 PM
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Re: Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

I hate these discussions. Simply put, subjectively both sides are right. Both sides take offense because both are arrogant.

The "never start on an R type, let alone 1000cc" crowd:
It doesn't matter how much you think you can "respect" it, it has zero respect for you. You have no experience, so you really have no idea how far in over your head you are. The first time you ride one, you'll be amazed at how much power it has. Funny thing is, you didn't even give it full throttle or into its RPM range. You'll build this false sense of security, and then over do it. A 1000cc will over do it far more than a 600cc will. Where most people get killed is the speed factor. Even if you respect it, you don't know it. You'll overcook a corner, or misjudge stopping/slowing distance that one time you decided that the bike "could handle it". Your respect means absolutely dick when physics takes over.

The "I'll be fine because I'm not stupid" crowd:
I know you're not, but do you want to know how many dead people have said that? There are plenty of people who have killed themselves on 250cc bikes too. It's possible to start on a 1000cc bike and be just fine. It's just rare to find people with that much self control. It takes a lot to not "see what she's got" and to develop the good riding habits before using more of that rocketship power. Only you know for sure. It's it a good idea? NEVER! Can it be done? Absolutely. Thousands of people already have. It's pretty insulting that someone who doesn't know you thinks immediately that you can't possibly be on the same level of bike they are safely. I've known people who did it right, that still shouldn't be on any motorcycle.... they just don't get it. There are others I've seen throw a leg over a 1000cc bike and and make it look like they've been riding for years. Same as driving a car. Some people have the feel, vision to see and anticipate the world around them, and know how to finesse the bike the bike to their will. The brain always matters more than the vehicle.


BOTH sides are right. Drawing the line where one becomes wrong is all down to the individual. The line is usually closer to the 1000cc is a bad idea crowd. Statistically, they're the more likely correct group. It's the arrogance of that group that thinks they're always right that makes me sick. Take that superiority bullshit somewhere else. I agree it's not a good idea, but neither is shredding someone for bucking the curve.


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post #16 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 02:04 PM
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Re: Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

I learned in the uk passed my test on honda cg 125 then went up to a 60bhp r100gs then after 4years i have got my 600 srad
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post #17 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 02:38 PM
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Re: Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr645 View Post
If you buy a GSX R1000 you can use the 600/750/1000 switch to keep the power down the first week like a 600, then move up to 750, then after a few weeks when your pushing the 750cc power to the limits, switch it up full 1000cc power.

BTW, what's the best Icon vest to get to go over my tank top? You know, for safety in case a car hits me???
Nice sarcasm there

Having just upgraded from a 600 to a GSXR 1000 I honestly I don't see the point of the A, B, C mode switch - it seems like marketing bullshit to me and I haven't used it since getting the bike.

Regardless of what you ride I'd suggest advanced rider training is the way to go.

An old friend of mine gave me some good advice when I first got into motorcycles... Buy a small bike, when you can use that to the max, upgrade to something bigger, when you can use that to the max upgrade to something larger and so on. I went through a 125, a 500 and then 10 years on a 600 before I really felt the upgrade was in order.

I think if anyone with less than 10 years riding experience thinks they can use a 600 to the max on a public road they are most likely talking bullshit!
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post #18 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 02:53 PM
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Re: Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

Funny story, somehow related.. In our local town there used to be classic car club, one of those where you pay a monthly subscription and you get to drive lots of nice cars. You have to be over 25 to join and have a fairly clean license, and it's expensive, maybe $1000/month!

They used to have a TVR, which is a British hand made sports car, and in this case I think it was 4l V8 with no traction control - just a fibre glass shell and around 400 BHP. Very fast for a car but still not as quick as a Superbike of course.

Now one day someone took the car out of the parking lot, took a right turn (which is like a left in the USA) and at the same time decided to put their foot down. Net result the car did a 360 degree and crashed, the driver was fine but the car was written off.

Since then they gave up on renting a TVR as it was too risky...
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post #19 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 10:00 PM
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Re: Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

2 horse power or 200 horse power. there are 2 kinds of riders. The ones that's been down. And the ones that's going down.
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post #20 of 200 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 10:03 PM
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Re: Why "respecting the bike" is bullshit...

still have my 1971 TVR Vixen. every time I drive it / it causes wrecks.
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